On Genesis: Two Books on Genesis against the Manichees; And, on the Literal Interpretation of Genesis, An Unfinished Book

By Saint Augustine; Roland J. S. J. Teske | Go to book overview

gathering"—the power of the form is called to our attention by the mention of unity. To be truly formed is to be brought into a unity. 83. For what is supremely one is the principle of all form. "And let the dry land appear," that is, let it receive form that is visible and free from confusion. It is good that the water is gathered so that the dry land might appear, that is, that the flow of matter might be checked and what is dark might be brought to light. "And so it was done"; perhaps this too was first carried out in the ideas of the intellectual nature. 84. Thus, the later addition, "And the water was gathered into one gathering, and the dry land appeared," would not seem superfluous, although it had already said, "And so it was done." Rather we should understand that the corporeal work followed after the rational and incorporeal work.

33· "And God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of water he called the sea." 85. The reason for these terms still raises [questions] for us. 86. For not all water is the sea, nor everything dry the earth. 87. Hence, what was water and what was dry land had to be separated by these terms. We can without absurdity interpret their distinction and formation as God's naming them. "And God saw that it was good." 88. Here the order is preserved; hence, let those things that have already been dealt with be applied to this passage as well.


CHAPTER 11

34. "And God said, 'Let the earth bring forth the edible plants producing seed according to their own kind and likeness, and the fruit-tree bearing fruit, whose seed is in it ac‐

____________________
83.
Augustine is strongly influenced by the Neoplatonist emphasis upon the One. On the oneness of created being, cf. DOR 2.18.48.
84.
The Latin rationibus could refer to the ideas or to the reasons of the intellectual nature; cf. above, ch. 7, nt. 5.
85.
Gen 1.10.
86.
The Latin is not clear; the French translation says, "Once again it is for us that these names are given"; the Spanish has, "The character of these words continues to favor us."
87.
Genesis has simply 'dry' (arida) which we have elsewhere translated as 'dry land.'
88.
Gen 1.10.

-169-

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On Genesis: Two Books on Genesis against the Manichees; And, on the Literal Interpretation of Genesis, An Unfinished Book
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Fathers of the Church - A New Translation *
  • The Fathers of the Church - A New Translation *
  • On Genesis - Two Books on Genesis against the Manichees and on the Literal Interpretation of Genesis: an Unfinished Book *
  • Contents *
  • Abbreviations ix
  • Select Bibliography xi
  • Introduction *
  • Introduction 3
  • Two Books on Genesis against the Manichees *
  • Book One 47
  • Chapter 1 47
  • Chapter 2 49
  • Chapter 3 52
  • Chapter 4 54
  • Chapter 5 56
  • Chapter 6 57
  • Chapter 7 58
  • Chapter 8 60
  • Chapter 9 62
  • Chapter 10 63
  • Chapter 11 64
  • Chapter 12 65
  • Chapter 13 66
  • Chapter 14 68
  • Chapter 15 71
  • Chapter 16 72
  • Chapter 17 74
  • Chapter 18 76
  • Chapter 19 77
  • Chapter 20 78
  • Chapter 21 80
  • Chapter 22 81
  • Chapter 23 83
  • Chapter 24 88
  • Chapter 25 89
  • Book Two 91
  • Chapter 1 91
  • Chapter 2 95
  • Chapter 3 96
  • Chapter 4 98
  • Chapter 5 99
  • Chapter 6 101
  • Chapter 7 102
  • Chapter 8 104
  • Chapter 9 107
  • Chapter 10 109
  • Chapter 11 111
  • Chapter 12 112
  • Chapter 13 114
  • Chapter 14 115
  • Chapter 15 117
  • Chapter 16 119
  • Chapter 17 121
  • Chapter 18 122
  • Chapter 19 123
  • Chapter 20 125
  • Chapter 21 126
  • Chapter 22 129
  • Chapter 23 131
  • Chapter 24 132
  • Chapter 25 134
  • Chapter 26 135
  • Chapter 27 137
  • Chapter 28 139
  • Chapter 29 140
  • On the Literal Interpretation of Genesis: An Unfinished Book *
  • Chapter 1 145
  • Chapter 2 147
  • Chapter 3 148
  • Chapter 4 151
  • Chapter 5 156
  • Chapter 6 161
  • Chapter 7 163
  • Chapter 8 165
  • Chapter 9 167
  • Chapter 10 168
  • Chapter 11 169
  • Chapter 12 171
  • Chapter 13 173
  • Chapter 14 176
  • Chapter 15 179
  • Chapter 16 182
  • Indices *
  • General Index 191
  • Index of Holy Scripture 196
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